Learning Theory and MOOCs

Norm Friesen, EA-TEL, Feb 03, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an interesting set of slides from Norm Friesen on the past and future of learninga and of MOOCs. In the middle is a fascinating thought experiment based on the work of J.S. Bruner: What if we were to say... "We depend for survival on the inheritance of acquired characteristics from the culture pool rather than the gene pool? Culture [would] then become the chief instrument for guaranteeing survival, with its techniques of transmission being of the highest order of importance." I think the perspective is interesting, but to me what matters is the concept of the creation of culture, and the way human individuals and human societies adapt to the environment. The theory of transmission, then, boils down to "whatever works."

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